The 2014 Victorian Museums & Galleries Conference was hosted by Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and held at the Lighthouse Theatre in Warrnambool on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 April. Thank you to all the delegates, speakers and volunteers who joined us for making the Conference a highly engaging, must-attend event!

The program combined keynote presentations, interactive discussions, lightning talks, focused parallel sessions, and a discussion panel. A Welcome Reception was held on Wednesday 2 April at the Warrnambool Art Gallery, and the Conference dinner, featuring the Shipwrecked! sound and laser show, took place at the award-winning, Accredited museum, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Optional tours of museums and places of interest were available on the Friday afternoon.

> View the Conference Program
> Full Conference Handbook including abstracts

International Keynote Speakers

Michael Edson

Director of Web and New Media Strategy, Smithsonian Institution (USA)


Michael Edson is the Director of Web and New Media Strategy in the Smithsonian Institution's Office of the CIO. Michael has worked on numerous award-winning projects and has been involved in practically every aspect of technology and New Media for museums. In addition to developing the Smithsonian’s first Web and New Media Strategy, the Smithsonian Commons concept, and the Smithsonian's Web and New Media Strategy Wiki, Michael helped create the Smithsonian’s first blog, Eye Level, and the first Alternative Reality Game to take place in a museum, Ghosts of a Chance. Michael is an O'Reilly Foo Camp veteran and serves on the Open Knowledge Foundation's Open GLAM advisory board. He was named a Tech Titan: person to watch by Washingtonian Magazine.

Iain Watson, Director

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (UK)


Iain has been Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) since November 2010 and a member of TWAM’s Senior Management Team since 2001, following a previous 18 years experience in the cultural and heritage sector. Iain is a Director of Audio Visual Arts North East, a lay member of Newcastle University’s Ethics Committee, a member of Durham University’s Museums Board, a member of the Cultural Heritage Advisory Team at Newcastle University’s International Centre for Culture and Heritage Studies, a Board Member of the Great North Run Cultural Programme, and a UK Museums Association’s Board Member. He has written and lectured extensively on museums, learning and heritage and has a strong track record in leading change.

Local Keynote Speakers

Paul Bowers

Head of Exhibitions, Museum Victoria


Paul has spent his career working in museums, leading exhibition development and major projects from within and outside major institutions. Eleven years at the Natural History Museum, London, culminated in leading the £7.4 million development of the public offer for Darwin Centre Phase Two, which opened in 2009. Paul was Head of Exhibitions and Design for three years at the National Railway Museum, York. He has also spent time in consultancy, working on projects as diverse as the Moscow Polytechnic Museum’s renewal and the creation of a new IKEA Museum in Sweden. He joined Museum Victoria in 2013.

John Cunningham

Art Gallery Director, Warrnambool Art Gallery


John arrived in Australia in January 2011 to take up the position as Director of the Warrnambool Art Gallery. John was previously Deputy Director and Head of Programming at the award winning Regional Cultural Centre in Ireland.

Joe Hextall & Jean McAuslan

Exhibition Outreach & Research Officer and Exhibitions & Collections Manager, Shrine of Remembrance

2014_Conf_Hextall_photo_small.jpg   2014_Conf_McAuslan_Photo.jpg

Joe has been contributing to the Shrine’s exhibition team since 2012. In 2013 he enjoyed an internship in collections management at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, as part of his Master of Museum Studies at Macquarie University. He will graduate in 2014. Joe has previously studied archaeology and anthropology. Previous museum experience includes Education Officer and visitor services at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery.

Jean's background in art history led her to the Australian War Memorial where she worked for 15 years with the art collection before becoming project leader for the Orientation Project (1996-99). Jean has created temporary and touring exhibitions at the Shrine of Remembrance since 2003, touring the "History of the Shrine" (2006-11) and "Indigenous Australians at War" (2011-14). She is currently leading the development of the Shrine's Galleries of Remembrance due to open in 2014 and preparing a Centenary of the First World War exhibition which will commence its tour of Victoria in August this year.

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